A Guide to Newquays' Beaches
Newquay is renowned for its beautiful beaches. If you want to really explore Newquay, you need to try and visit all 9 (yes 9) beaches, each slightly different from the next withy different facilities and vistas. For yours and everyone else's safety always swim at a Lifeguarded beach and always do as the Lifeguards tell you.
The RNLI give the following advice:
- Always swim at a lifeguarded beach
- Swim between the red and yellow flags
- Never swim alone
- Know your beach safety flags
- Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas
- If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help
- If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can’t see a lifeguard call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard
- Find out about the beach you’re going to before you visit
- Check tide times before you go
- Read and obey local hazard signs
Please remember that the lifeguards don’t operate all year round, so if you aren’t sure where to swim or surf, come and ask for our advice at the surf school
A pretty special place, on the mouth of the river Gannel; surrounded by the Pentire headland on the north and the village of Crantock on the south, the beach is an ideal place for families. It’s a long deep sandy beach, great for exploring the caves and sand dunes with the kids. It’s also a pretty popular surfing wave, with the river creating good sandbanks that means there are often long rides to be had. The village of Crantock is great for a more chilled out Newquay vibe, with traditional pubs and cafes and a few campsites, with stunning sea views
One of the most famous beaches in Newquay; the self-proclaimed “Centre of British Surfing” is definitely worth a visit. As a west facing bay, it receives most of the swell which cause the waves and although is a “surfing beach” can be a little heavy for complete beginners, with big waves and rips that even the most seasoned surfers can find a little tricky. If you are lucky you may coincide your visit with one of the many surfing competitions that are hosted here throughout the year.
At the north end of the beach is an excellent set of facilities with toilets, showers, restaurants, RNLI centre and shops, along with the Stable – a pizza and cider restaurant with arguably the best restaurant view in town, or why not grab a bag of chips and sit and watch the constant stream of tourists, surfers and bathers enjoying this special place.
And don’t forget the south side of the beach – there’s an excellent little café / restaurant Bodhi’s, nestled in the rocks which can be a bit more chilled than the restaurants at the north.
Our favourite beach, where we operate most of our surf lessons – it’s ideally situated with sweeping views right around Newquay Bay. The beach faces north west which means it picks up swell (which us surfers love) but can be very sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds, which means the waves are usually clean, and lined up perfectly – ideal for learning to surf
With the harbour in the south side and the iconic house on the island at the north side, the beach is lifeguarded between May and September, and also has the Newquay Blue Reef Aquarium. It’s easily accessible, just a minutes’ walk from the surf school and the rest of town
Great Western Beach
Great Western is a popular family beach lying just north of Towan beach. The beach is surrounded by high cliffs and at high tide is just a tiny piece of sand. The best time to visit this beach is at low tide when it joins with Towan, Tolcarne and Lusty Glaze to create a vast expanse of golden sand. The Surf school often use this beach for lessons, if it’s too small at Towan beach. Its angle means it picks up a little more swell, so perfect on those.
Tolcarne Beach nestles in a beautiful crescent shaped bay set against a background of cliffs. It’s accessed by a set of steps just beneath Cliff road, and there is also a small access road, if you can’t manage the steps. There are quite a lot of facilities on this beach including the old iconic beach huts which can be hired form the beach reception. Tolcarne is very family friendly, with rock pools and a generally mellow wave, although at high tide, the infamous Tolcarne Wedge can get going if the conditions are right, which is a favourite for body boarders. There is a los a lovely restaurant on this beach “the Breaks” which offers delicious food and spectacular sunset views.
A really child friendly beach located to the north part of Newquay town. It’s a small river estuary which means there is always plenty of sand for castle building and burying dad! Not much surfing happens here as it’s very sheltered from the swell, but it’s still worth a visit, especially if you are looking for idyllic beach views with a pub within walking distance! The Mermaid (the pub on the beach) offers good pub food all day, with great views and a great live music schedule
The beach has the historic “Porth Island” on the north side, which is worth a walk to the very end; from this infamous point you can view the whole of Newquay and the north Cornish coast, feeling like you are on the end of the earth. And if the waves are “on” then why not see if you can watch the famous Porth Blow Hole doing its thing.
We aren’t going to tell you anything about this beach, it’s a secret :)
Another famous beach – not sure if it’s strictly Newquay, but it’s certainly a beautiful place and a favourite for tourists. It’s a long sandy beach a couple of miles long, westerly facing so quite exposed to the wind and waves. One of the biggest draws is the excellent Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, a big favourite of locals and visitors alike.